Marshfield steals one from SPASH

Scott ‘ Coach’ Stankowski
Contributing writer
Photos by Kylie Bridenhagen

September 14, 2018

Marshfield–-The 0-4 SPASH Panthers faced the 4-0 Marshfield Tigers at Beel stadium in a Valley Football Association match up.

On the annual blackout cancer night the two teams have raised over $50,000 in the past three years and this years recipient was little Emmy Beaman, a 3 year old girl who is surviving acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  The Marshfield cheerleaders presented her a huge gift basket of all the fun things a 3 year old could want.  In the end if you think about it it is what being able to play football should be about.

The game ended at a score of 13-7 in favor of Marshfield but was anything short of not exciting.  Both teams suffered from miscues and there was a combined 15 penalties between the teams.

SPASH started with the ball and marched it down to the 24 yard line behind a big gain catch from Michael Vang from Brett Ehr.  A fourth and one would come inches short of a first down and be a repeating telling tale for the night.

Marshfield would get the ball and Dylan Davis of SPASH would finally show signs of being a playmaker as he made a big sack forcing a punt.

The next SPASH drive would again get the ball into Marshfield territory.  Ehr hit Mason King on an out and he stepped out of bounds about a yard past the first down marker.  The side judge however marked it differently and the ball was judged again an inch from a first down.

Marshfield would take the ball at the 24 and head into the second quarter.  Spencer Wierzba of SPASH would knock the ball out of quarterback Ryan Krugers hand and Luke Bembenek would recover on the SPASH 16.

Ehr would hit King on a play where the entire Marshfield defense filled the box and it was as easy as that for King to score on an 86 yard touchdown pass.  SPASH would take a 7-0 lead at the 10:08 mark.

Pinning Marshfield back deep in their own territory on the ensuing kickoff, Marshfield would march 93 yards finishing with a six-yard touchdown pass from Kruger to Isaac Meverdeen.

Marshfield would fake line up for a 2 pt conversion and regroup for the PAT only to be called for a delay of game.  Having to kick a 25 yarder, the ball would be short for the Tigers and the score would be 7-6.

On the next Tiger possession they would again start moving the ball until linebacker Luke Babl stepped up for a big 8 yard loss sack giving the ball with a minute to go to the Panthers.

Jack Kelly would take a run to the outside and could have easily ran out of bounds to stop the clock but stayed in bounds around the 40 yard line ending the half at 7-6 in favor of SPASH.

Marshfield took the ball to start the second half and begin to pick on defensive back Brenden Klish several times who was showing very soft coverage.  SPASH would force a field goal attempt and Klish would redeem himself by blocking the attempt.

On the next Tiger possession Babl again came up big as he forced a sack fumble on Kruger and Brett Britz would pounce on the ball at the 36 yard line.  SPASH would push the ball deep into Marshfield territory but their drive would end as Ehr missed a wide open King on a 4th and 8 in the end zone.

Marshfield took the ball and start controlling the line of scrimmage once again.   Travis Johnson would come up big intercepting Kruger and returning the ball 30 yards to the 44 yard line, but the offense would not get going as holes would fill before Kelly could get to them.

Marshfield would take the ball at the 33 yard line and hammer down.  When they were not completing passes, Kruger scrambled big to the open including a 19 yard jaunt to the end zone to make the score 13-7 with 8:04 to go into the game.

SPASH would take the ball and start marching with big Kelly runs.  A phantom false start was called on a line that never budged.  That would be critical as they tried once again on a 4th and short  that seemed to have the distance only to have the ball marked and remarked inches backwards to give the ball back to Marshfield with 4:22 to go.

Marshfield would own the ball and gain three consecutive first downs.  With a minute to go Tiger back Bradley Dikinson would lose the ball to Panther Evan Thomas who stripped the ball and owned it to give SPASH a final shot from their 38 yard line.

Ehr would hit Owen Ahrens for a big gain.  Kelly would then take the ball and bounce outside from the middle to the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown.  As he was crossing the line the side judge threw a flag for an apparent penalty that was unseen. Ehr would respond and hit Johnson on an out to the 1 yard line with 25 seconds to go.

With time running out, a decisive play occurred. Ehr took the snap and as the fullback turned to face him he spiked the ball.  Seconds later after thinking about it a flag was called for intentional grounding.  Although coach Pete McAdams had dealt with the same issue last year and got proper clarification on the proper nature of the play directly from the WIAA the officials were unaware of the rule and made their call despite McAdams explanation.  Backed up to the 10 yard line, Ehr would toss to Kelly who would fumble only to have Kyle Wilbourn recover it at the 4.

After a SPASH timeout Kelly would take it up the middle and be stopped at the 1.  SPASH quickly went to the line for a quick play and the snap would slip as Marshfield would recover and ice the game.

Marshfield 5-0 will head to Wisconsin Rapids 2-3 who beat Wausau East.  SPASH will host Wausau West.

SPASH 0, 7,0,0   =7

Marshfield 0, 6, 0, 7=13

Total Yards, SPASH 313 Marshfield  384

Rushing SPASH 35-115, Kelly 24-80

Marshfield  45-269, Brant Bohman 19-114

Passing SPASH Ehr 9-14-234, Marshfield Kruger 15-24-164

Receiving  SPASH King 2-110-1   Marshfield Preston Wagner 9-77

Time of Possession  SPASH  21:07 Marshfield 26:53

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